NEW YORK (Sporting Alert) — David West scored 20 points and Lance Stephenson added a double-double of 13 rebounds and 11 points as the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 102-95 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday.
The Knicks are heavy favourites to win the series, but defeat today put a massive dent in their quest for a quick series.
“I thought we just did a great job of taking advantage or our size, getting some second shots, guys finishing around the rim and obviously George and those other guys they made plays,” West told reporters after the win.
Paul George added 19 points, D.J. Augustin went 5-for-6 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three point range to finish with 16 points off the bench, while George Hill had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Roy Hibbert collected 14 points and eight boards in the win for the Pacers.
Carmelo Anthony led the New York with 27 points and 11 rebounds, but struggled against Indiana’s defense, which held him to just 10-of-28 from the field.
“They just flat-out played harder than we did today,” Anthony said. “That was the key in their victory.”
Raymond Felton scored 18 points, while J.R. Smith, who went 4-of-15 from the floor, had 17.
“I thought they played harder than our team tonight, that’s the difference,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson admits.
“We gotta play harder across the board for us to get out of this series.”
Game 2 in the series is again at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.